Paul JenkinsPaul Jenkins has announced he is to leave mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness to become chief executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist mental health trust committed to improving mental health and emotional wellbeing. It also provides an extensive postgraduate training portfolio. Jenkins, who has some 28 years’ experience in the public sector, is expected to start his new role in the New Year.

Jenkins was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his role in setting up NHS Direct before being appointed CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, where he helped set up the Schizophrenia Commission and launched the national Time to Change Campaign, run in partnership with Mind.

Over the past seven years, Jenkins has taken an active lobbying role and been responsible for influencing NHS reforms and the Mental Health (discrimination) Bill.

"I am delighted to welcome Paul to the trust, he has an impressive professional background which is a good fit for our organisation,” said Angela Greatley, Tavistock’s chair. “With the biggest squeeze on NHS funding in history, the appointment comes at a challenging financial time but I am certain he will make a hugely influential and positive contribution to our work here."

As chief executive of the trust, Jenkins will have control of the day-to-day running of the health and education services it provides.

"I am pleased to be joining the internationally renowned Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust,” said Jenkins. “It will be a privilege working with such gifted staff and I am very much looking forward to working in an organisation with a valued past and a great future."